Board accepts bond bid for building project

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 2/16/00.

Carolyn Drude, of Ehlers and Associates, the district's financial advisor, told the board the low bidder for the district's building bonds was U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray. The interest rate is 5.76 percent.

The bonds will finance the district's building project which includes an auditorium, fitness center, and four new tennis courts.

There were six bidders for the school district's general obligation school building bonds. "We had a lot of bidding interest," Drude said. Bids came in from across the country: Illinois, Florida, and New York.

Interest rates have been rising at a steady pace since September. Ehlers and Associates were concerned what the interest rate would be for the $3.4 million building bond. "We were happy that the rate came in near our estimate, 5.7," Drude added.

The school district has a balance in the present debt service account which will help defray the expense of the first payment, Caldwell said.

The bond will be repaid over a 20-year period. Net interest costs to the district is $3,226,658. Payments and interest will total about $6,586,830.

The board also authorized advertising for bids to construct four new tennis courts. The present location of the tennis courts is the site of the new auditorium and fitness center. The district will accept bids until Feb. 29. The school board will consider the bids at the March 14 meeting.

The new tennis courts will be located north of the high school, between the school garage and vocational building.

Attendance incentive
High school principal John Janotta presented the board with a sample attendance incentive policy. The new policy would be included in the 2000-2001 high school student handbook.

Board members had mixed feelings about the policy. Deb Glenz felt the policy would encourage students to attend school sick. Others felt it would make the students more responsible for their attendance.

Under the proposed policy, students who have perfect attendance or exemplary attendance at the end of the school year would be allowed to miss their final exams on the last two days of the school year. Students opting to take the final test could improve their grade, but would not lower their grade.

Perfect attendance is defined in the proposed policy as being in attendance for the entire school day for the entire school year. Exemplary attendance is defined as one or fewer absences for a semester. School business such as field trips and contests, would not affect perfect or exemplary attendance.

An unexcused absence would nullify perfect or exemplary attendance incentives regardless of the amount of time, Janotta told the board.

In other business:
•The board approved the curriculum development plan for the K-12 music programs. The plan outlines the music program strengths and areas for improvement.

Two areas of improvement will be taken care of with the completion of the new auditorium: lack of storage space, and improved sound and light equipment for performances.

•The board accepted the retirement request from Steve Sullivan, accounting and ninth grade algebra instructor. He has taught in the district since January 1967.

•The board approved a two-year leave request from Janet Binsfeld, kindergarten instructor. She is presently on a one-year child care leave.

•Janotta informed the board that graduation for the Class of 2000 will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 4.

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